Commentary

Daily Reformer: immigration, people and manure.

BY: - January 27, 2020

Good morning.  Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day.  This morning at the Reformer I came out of reporting retirement to write a little piece about the Senate Republican push to pass a voter ID law in the upcoming legislative session, even though Minnesota rejected just such a measure in 2012, by 110,000 votes. Also this morning, […]

Daily Reformer: Lewis and his no lose campaign

BY: - January 24, 2020

Good morning! A programming note: I’m in Washington for meetings and will have no Daily Reformer on Friday.  This morning at the Reformer, Rilyn Eischens tallied up the 2018 CEO and worker pay at Minnesota’s Fortune 500s and determined CEOs make 278 times the pay of the average worker. The data is all there in […]

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) speaks during the Democratic presidential primary debate on Dec. 19, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Coolican: Amy Klobuchar and the scourge of the bullying boss

BY: - January 23, 2020

Sen. Amy Klobuchar shared the endorsement of The New York Times with Sen. Elizabeth Warren this week, one of several events indicating a wisp of momentum for our senior senator. Her legendary work ethic — which has taken her to all 99 Iowa counties in a replay of her approach here in Minnesota — seems […]

What you probably don’t know about Colin Kaepernick: His faith

BY: - January 22, 2020

I am among what I suspect is a rather small group: Ordained women ministers who also are football fans. In my youth in Oklahoma,  I actually played the game — and loved it.  In those days girls were relegated to touch football and “powder puff” teams, but I relished the rough-and-tumble and blocking and knocking […]

Daily Reformer: Warsame leaving the council? Trouble at DHS

BY: - January 21, 2020

Good afternoon! Toddler got a double ear infection so you’re getting your Daily Reformer during his nap. Let it be an epic nap! The mess gets messier: Dept. of Human Services CFO Alexandra Kotze is leaving to become CFO of Ramsey County. Last day Feb. 7.  Recall this Star Tribune story from November:  “The Minnesota […]

Daily Reformer: Happy MLK Day

BY: - January 21, 2020

Good morning and happy MLK Jr. Day. Government is closed for the day, but Daily Reformer is not.  Gov. Tim Walz was at the 30th Annual MLK Holiday Breakfast at the Armory in Minneapolis this morning and then will host the 34th Annual MLK Day Celebration at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in […]

Rep. Dean Phillips: Clean up our campaign finance system

BY: - January 21, 2020

Editor’s note: Tuesday is the 10th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.  When I speak to groups visiting Washington, D.C. or to my constituents back home as I travel around my west metro district, I often start by telling them something that most find surprising: I love my job. This usually […]

Measuring progress among black Americans since Dr. King’s death

BY: - January 20, 2020

On Apr. 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, while assisting striking sanitation workers. Back then, over a half century ago, the wholesale racial integration required by the 1964 Civil Rights Act was just beginning to chip away at discrimination in education, jobs and public facilities. Black voters had only […]

America’s public schools seldom bring rich and poor together — and MLK would disapprove

BY: - January 20, 2020

More than five decades after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., many carry on his legacy through the struggle for racially integrated schools. Yet as King put it in a 1968 speech, the deeper struggle was “for genuine equality, which means economic equality.” Justice in education would demand not just racially integrated schools, but […]

Daily Reformer: Klobuchar’s trouble on the home front

BY: - January 17, 2020

Good afternoon!  Happy early voting day!  Read Aaron Booth’s Minnesota presidential primary primer, filled with recent polling and data-rich maps. It should give you a decent idea of the state’s current political profile, especially on the DFL side, which is where all the primary action is.  A side note: Aaron is a sharp but entirely […]

The answer to refugee-baiting? Minnesotanness.

BY: - January 17, 2020

I often joke that my graduate studies in anthropology became a life skill when I moved to Minnesota. The classic tools of the discipline — where one is traught to observe, analyze, and come to conclusions about often “exotic” other cultures — prepared me well for Life Among the Minnesotans. Some aspects of Minnesotanness will […]

Vice President Joe Biden | U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Daily Reformer: Biden’s Irish grief & Gazelka lets his hair down

BY: - January 16, 2020

Good morning! Exclusive on the Reformer: Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka gave an interview in November to Andrew Wommack, a televangelist with very conservative politics who makes all sorts of faith healing claims, including that his child rose from the dead cuz prayer. Anyway, Gazelka, who comes across as an avuncular, gentle soul around the […]